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Wick For Brains - Nebraska Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wick For BrainsWick For Brains

Educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 28
Hads: 131
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 23.86%
Wants: 2
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hojaminbag on 11-10-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 131
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Interesting label art.

Appearance : Pours a Sunkist/Minute Maid/Fanta orange out of the can straight into the weizen glass, creating a still orangey but mellow blonde glow. The head is small but what's there sticks around for a bit, leaving mossy cream on the top and sticking to the sides loosely.

Aroma : Smells like a grocery store during a fall batch season. Pumpkin, cinnamon, pecan, clove, with a bit of oatmeal raisin cookie as well. It takes some effort to get a nose though, so a little bit of a dock there.

Taste : It drinks easy, and the front half is spiced generously with nutmeg, allspice, and stale cinnamon; the back gives way to some rotting pumpkin, burnt malts, and scorched black syrup with a burnt version of the spices before it. The finish is kind of literally hard to swallow.

Feel : Very easy drinking - heavily and excitingly carbonated, very refreshing, a balanced feel, and a dry finish.

Overall : Wouldn't buy again, but it was nice to try. Pumpkin Ales are hit and miss, this one was unfortunately more of a miss.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.51/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: A very clear bourbon amber. No head. No lacing. Very full if it wasn't so damn clear.

S: Good pumpkin aroma. Green, vinous stems. Lots of cracker malt.

M: Very light, well attenuated. Dry throughout with a finish of a marzen.

T: Flower like herbaceous quality not unlike squash blossoms or sweet potato tempura. Some clove spicing, mace, light brown sugar, light lemony hops.

The seasonality of pumpkin beers makes this a very competitive category. This beer is light, floral, and a little hoppy. Not how I prefer my pumpkin beers.

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Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear, orange-brown with minimal head. Taste is pumpkin pulp, cinnamon, and light clove and hops. Hits all the major style points. Not a bad pumpkin ale, although there are others I prefer in the style.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: pumpkin pie spices - mostly cinnamon and nutmeg;

T: pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices; mildly bitter finish;

M: light to medium bodied; low to moderate carbonation; very dry finish;

O: the best pumpkin beer I've tasted - simply because it's the 1st I've ever tasted that actually tasted like pumpkin. Most of them only taste like pumpkin pie spice.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not a bad beer, just not a great one. The pour was a very clear orange color with little head at all. The carbonation was relatively low. The aroma was very similar to a wheat beer with some added seasonal spices. It was an overwhelming odor either. Very subtle in the taste as well. You don't get a huge smack of anything. It was very mildly spiced and balanced. This might be a good introduction beer to pumpkin ales or vegetable beers. I just didn't quite get as much of a kick as I like out of the pumpkin ales from this one. I will say the more it warmed up, I did like it better as it sat in the glass a little. Not a bad beer, just not a great one.

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Photo of dank203
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

great pumpkin; full flavored without being cloying, or over spiced. fresh pumpkin flavor with spice balance. low IBU's, medium/full body with just enough thickness. a lot of flavor without excessive alcohol content

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Photo of JamesMN
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No canning date.

Appearance: Dark caramel in color with decent clarity and a disappointing lack of head. Just a couple off-white bubbles on top and some effervescence sticking to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Soft pumpkin pie spices with a hint of a butter-like crust element.

Taste: Pretty typical array of pumpkin pie spices with a general sweetness from what is likely an amber ale base recipe. The hops aren't really a factor. Would have liked to get more of the pie crust that was in the aroma but it doesn't come through in the flavor. A bit shallow in the flavor department but not quite watery. The can states 6.1% ABV. Weak finish and aftertaste of ebbing spices.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium in body with average carbonation and okay drinkability. Nothing special here. Almost tepid at times.

Final Thoughts: A completely average pumpkin ale. Not even par for the course. Although there weren't any major technical flaws, there are so many more better options available. Would I drink it again? No.

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Photo of donspublic
3.79/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into a pint shaker. 1 finger head dissipates pretty quick. Not picking up much other than a little spice. Taste, you know it is pumpkin. Nice mixture of pumpkin to spice. Will mix this in with pumking throughout the fall

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Photo of Lilbeck23
4.79/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When it comes to a Pumpkin ale this one does not steer you wrong! The aroma, taste and easy contour makes it an overall delight to kick back and enjoy the fall! Pumpkins stand no chance when it comes to the easy sipping of this seasonal ale!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

One of the last in-person trades that I made with tone77 before his departure from our area included this CAN. I miss having him come by to drop off all sorts of different beers for me as I would load him down with CANs in return. The CANQuest (TM) abides.

From the CAN: "World Class in Every Glass"; "Our classic and painstakingly created fall pumpkin ale. Real pumpkin lends a sweetness and a true pumpkin flavor not found in many pumpkin ales. Wonderful pumpkin pie spices intertwined in our amber ale create a rich pumpkin seasonal. Elegantly crafted."; "CANs: Infinitely Recyclable".

First of all, this used one of those stupid 360 degree openings, so there really was not a Crack! and I could not upturn it for a Glug! It is a s**tty CANcept that is really a step backwards in CAN engineering. When you are left with a sharp, throwaway piece, you may as well go back to pop tops. Once deCANted, the head quickly dissipated before I could do anything. Color was an orangish Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity (what else?). Nose had a pronounced cinnamon spiciness. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin. Taste was spicy, prevalently cinnamon, backed up with perhaps nutmeg or allspice. The finish was gaspingly dry with the spices really doing their part. It was like liquid alum! Man, I was ready for a glass of water upon finishing this beer. Not bad, but needs work on presentation.

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Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Poured a cloudy orange body with a thin white lace on the surface. It looks like a typical pumpkin ale, nothing special. Scents of cinnamon, pumpkin, medium-light nutmeg and allspice, medium gingers clove. Overall impression of aroma is of a spice and pumpkin forward pumpkin ale, but one that is not too sweet and is very appealing. None of the pie crust butteriness that ruins other examples of style. Very pleasant. Flavor begins with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, light ginger, allspice and a light sourness. Middle is medium-dry with a light sourness, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin and clove. Finish is dry with notes of pumpkin, ginger, white pepper, clove, nutmeg and allspice and a light sourness. Aftertaste is pumpkin, clove, nutmeg and allspice. Overall impression of flavor is of a wonderful pumpkin ale. It captures the flavors of pumpkin and spices, with a light sourness throughout that aids the flavor. A truly wonderful pumpkin ale flavor that avoids the traps of the style. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium-high carbonation and drying, sour feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a light, refreshing ale. Very nice. Overall this is the single best pumpkin ale I have ever had. It avoids every problem I have with the style in aroma and flavor and is aided by a level mouthfeel. Simply wonderful.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 3.75 Clear amber with a small white head.
S: 4.0 - Pleasant caramel malt with moderately strong cinnamon scent.
T: 3.75 - Medium malt with a lot of cinnamon. No pumpkin detectable. Other spices have a light touch.
M: 4.0 - Nice creamy mouthfeel
O: 4.0 - Not the best PA, but I find it pretty tasty. Of course, I like cinnamon a lot.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into an IPA glass.

Look: A nice copper body with a white head that disappears and leaves a ring and some light laving.

Aroma: Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar.

Taste: All spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Very subtle hints of squash.

Mouthfeel: Watery, light mouthfeel.

Overall: This is a typical pumpkin ale. Slammable, I could drink this all day, but it is a spice rack and not much else.

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Photo of tone77
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a orange/golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of pumpkin, very light nutmeg. Taste is really kind of bland. Some pumpkin, spices are present but really subdued, not bad, but boring. Feels light in the mouth and overall I was not impressed with this beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz aluminum can with appealing label art and a curiously large pull-tab acquired at Whichcraft in Austin, TX, and served cold into a pilsner glass.

Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery's reputation and the fact that I'm just in the mood for a pumpkin ale. 6.10% ABV. 2014 vintage. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Reviewed as a pumpkin ale because it's identified clearly as such on the label.

Opening the can is interesting; this pull tab removes the entire top with ease - props for great packaging!

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Off-white colour. Average creaminess and thickness. Light uneven lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes. Average consistency and complexion.

BODY: Translucent transparent copper gold of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance for a pumpkin ale, but generally appealing.

AROMA: Brown sugar, faint pumpkin gourd, light cinnamon, caramelized sugars and malts, and brief hints of allspice and nutmeg. It's pretty light in strength. A timid aroma which is pleasant but wanting. Doesn't really evoke pumpkin gourd or pumpin pie spices as much as it needs to.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, hop notes, or off-notes are detectable. I can't say it has me dying for the first sip, but I'm optimistic. Pretty average for a pumpkin ale overall.

TASTE: Caramelized malts comprise the simple basic core. There's a bit of pumpkin gourd and some noticeable cinnamon, but little else. Even the nutmeg and allspice disappeared. Simplicity is king here. Very no-frills. Dareisay insipid.

I do like it, but there's just nothing going on. What few flavours are present come through shallow. The brief duration of flavour and mild flavour intensity doesn't help. I want fresh ripe pumpkin gourd, subtle yet intricate spices, and an autumnal/harvest malt build, but none of that is present here. It's just a bland boring build with loose cohesion and a hint of pumpkin. I do like that what little pumpkin there is tastes genuine - not artificial - but that just isn't enough.

It does have a near ideal level of sweetness for a pumpkin ale.

TEXTURE: Well-carbonated. Smooth, wet, light to medium in body, and a bit thin. Sticky. This texture complements the taste well, but isn't ideal for a pumpkin ale. More presence and heft on the palate is needed. Like the taste, the texture lacks oomph.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Among the most insipid pumpkin ales I've ever come across. It's a pumpkin ale for those who don't care much for pumpkin, and offers little to the discerning drinker. I'll finish the glass with ease - this is very drinkable - but I see no need to ever buy it again. Why brew this? A swing and a miss from Nebraska. I guess their marketing team just figured they ought to put out a pumpkin ale. This is easily the most uninspired beer in the style I've ever had.


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Photo of ocelot2500
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden orange color with a tight, white head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of a bit of spice and toasted malt.

Tastes of the sweet, toasted malt with only a touch of spice. Malts lead off with toffee, caramel, and some toasted bread. Fairly sweet. This gives way to some cinnamon mostly maybe some clove and allspice as well. Finishes fairly clean with some lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with an almost undercarbonated feel.

Overall, this is just alright, nothing particularly good, but nothing bad as well.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

perhaps not the most compelling pumpkin beer of the season, but a well made and palatable brew with potential for broad appeal. its nice and mellow on the spice front, allowing the base beer, which is pushing an amber ale, to come through. the problem is, its also light in the pumpkin flavor, and seems real subtle compared to other ones on the market. its just so plain in the seasonal aspect. i like its drinkability, lightness, and upbeat bubbles, but im looking for more flavor that makes this what it is. i thought the other beers from these guys were so dynamic, but this one is a little overly basic for me. i like a more sturdy fall beer, but there is nothing wrong with this for the drinker of lighter stuff

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Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Drank from a 12 ounce can traded for at CANvention in Dallas. Poured into a pint glass. The pumpkin cinnamon flavor is there, but (fortunately) not overwhelming. Pours flat - very little lacing which entirely disappeared after one minute.. A mild brew with little carbonation and good flavor, a nice one but not great. Easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Sampling right now on 9/14/14. Comes in a 12 ounce can like all of their brews Can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a handled glass stein. Alcohol content is 6.1% (ABV) as on the side of the can.

Pours a pretty orange-amber in color with a thin white head. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of pumpkin, spice and grains. The taste is even better with the perfect amount of pumpkin and spice. Very smooth and really easy to drink. Lighter to medium bodied and perfect carbonation. One of the best pumpkin brews so far this year, though it needed a bit more of the great flavor to make this a '10'. Overall, a great brew.

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Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes on 11/4, on draft at Rattle 'n Hum

Pours a clear golden orange color with a nice tight white head.

The aroma is of light pumpkin, with some nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. A nice bright aroma.

The taste is of pumpkin, nutmeg, and allspice. Seems to have a sour oak flavor but from what I read, this beer is not barrel aged. There seems to be an odd spice or sweet element I can't quite put my finger on. At first I thought this was a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin but its not. Not sure what this flavor is coming from.

The feel was light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. It drinks crisp.

I thought it was a good pumpkin, though it has some odd flavors to it.

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Photo of taigor
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured a clear copper color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Malts, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices.

T - Starts off slightly sweet with malts, caramel, pumpkin followed by light cinnamon, nutmeg and earthy taste but not too strong.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Not a bad pumpkin ale but it feels too watered down and has no kick whatsoever.

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Photo of plaid75
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white cap. There was decent retention and lacing b

The smell featured a full wave of cinnamon (think Dentyne).

The taste consisted of a rindy pumpkin flesh with that same bizarre sweet and cinnamony Dentyne element.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side if the style.

Overall a ho him experience. Weak in the spice category.

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Photo of Forb
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at the Brewery...

Appearance: Pours a slightly darkened orange hue with plenty of bubbly carbonation leading to a minutely fluffy head.

Smell/Taste: The malt sweetness which comes to a beautiful pumpkin aura is present here. Very inviting. Taste is initially ginger, spices, and finishes with a very pumpkin infused sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and plenty of carbonation.

Overall: I'm happy because they chose to not allow this one to become overly sweet. They kept it where the careful beer drinker will be able to indulge rather than appealing to a mass market of casuals who just want a richly crafted brew.

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Photo of xuptygm
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange hue. Very nice head which recedes a bit but stays with the beer until the last sip. Not as sweet as other pumpkin ales.
Smells amazing. Crisp smooth finish. The best pumpkin ale I have tried. Lace sticks to the glass and won’t go away. Perfect carbonation. The pumpkin comes through very nicely. The malt compliments the pumpkin very well. Hops are present but only to balance the beer. Creamy. A great session beer
Overall a great beer, especially considering that it is a pumpkin ale which I usually do not like. Had a pint at the brewery and liked it so much I bought a growler.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brewery on 9/9.
Thought this was a top pumpkin ale last year, when enjoyed at the brewery in Papillion, NE. How does this year's shape up?

Arrives in a standard pint glass with a 1cm head, fairly clean white in color, that fades to a thin top of white foam on the glass. Leaves some lacy spots, but not much, on the glass after a sip. Body is a dark orange-copper color, transparent, visibly carbonated.

Fairly mild scent, but with noticeable pumpkin and sweetness in the aroma. A bit of nutmeg lurking in the background. Mostly average.

Taste is primarily of sweetness and pumpkin, which imparts a fairly malt-forward beer that's fairly bland. In the back are the spices: nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. A bit of cloying sweetness in the aftertaste. Taste following scent, this is just above average.

Medium bodied with carbonation levels that help this along on the palate. Finish could stand to be drier; I remarked to a friend how refreshing this would be if it had a dry, biscuit-like finish.

A bit disappointed by this year's Wick for Brains, relative to last year's. While I still think this is an acceptable pumpkin beer, this isn't as enjoyable as the previous year's was. It's still much better than other options available (Shipyard, Buffalo Bill's).

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Wick For Brains from Nebraska Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.